VMWare Fusion 4

VMWare Fusion 4 Tools Upgrade Fails


After installing VMWare Fusion 4, the guest operating system VMWare Tools requires updating, but after initiating the upgrade a dialog box displays saying that the upgrade cannot be completed.

Further information in the message indicates that the following line should be added to the Virtual Machine’s .vmx configuration file;

isolation.tools.guestInitiatedUpgrade.disable = “FALSE”

Shut the Virtual Machine down (power off) and quit Fusion, then locate the Virtual Machine in Finder, right click and choose “Show Package Contents”

Show Package Contents
Show Package Contents

Make a backup copy of the .vmx file and add the line above, I added it to the end of the file using TextEdit (ensure TextEdit is in Text mode before saving).

Restart the Virtual Machine, and the VMWare Tools upgrade should proceed correctly.

Published by

Phil Harding

SharePoint Consultant, Developer, Father, Husband and Climber.

11 thoughts on “VMWare Fusion 4 Tools Upgrade Fails

  1. This happened to me. I am running snow leopard. When I right click the vmx file in my windows xp virtual machine, there is no ” Show package content” available. How do I add the line? Could someone please help?

  2. Chris,

    Ensure Fusion and your virtual machines are shutdown (not suspended).
    Using the Mac Finder, locate the virtual machine file (this file has an .vmwarevm file extension), right click this file and choose Show Package Contents, Finder will now display the package contents.

    Locate the .vmx configuration file and open/edit/save it using TextEdit (ensure TextEdit is in text mode before saving)
    Close the finder window, restart Fusion and start your VM.

  3. Hi Phil,

    When you meant .vmwarevm file extension, do you mean .vmx file?

    Also when I right click in Snow leopard, it does not have the SHow package option.

    I did try to open and add the line to the bottom of the file and save it. When I restarted the virtual machine, there was an error message too. When the machine was booted, I still could not upgrade the VMware tool.

  4. This is the error message I got after I added the line.

    Value “ÒFALSEÓ” for variable “isolation.tools.guestInitiatedUpgrade.disable” is not a valid boolean value.

  5. Chris

    When you create a virtual machine using Fusion, the VM file created has a .vmwarevm file extension. If you right click this file and choose Show Package Contents, there will be a file with a .vmx file extension (a .vmwarevm file is a compressed file similar to a .zip file)

    If you have created your virtual machine another way, say migrated it from a PC, there may not be a .vmwarevm file at all, but a standard folder, with a .vmx file inside. Either way there will always be a .vmx configuration file for a Fusion virtual machine.

    Further you must also set your virtual machine compatibility settings to VMWare Fusion 4: select your virtual machine in Fusion VM Library, bring up the settings dialog, click on the Compatibility icon and select “Compatible with VMWare Fusion 4 or higher”

  6. Hi Phil,

    My Virtual machine was migrated from PC before. I did have a vmx file. I tried to add the line to the bottom in the text file but when I booted the virtual machine, I got the error message. In the end, I did not add the line in the vmx file. I just reinstalled the VMware tools and it seems to be working fine. The VMware fusion compatibility mode was also automatically checked when I upgraded from VMware 3 to 4. Now it seems to be OK. Thanks.

  7. Phil,

    I can’t find a (.vmx) but i do see a (.vmxf) file. Once I opened it’s formatted in a xml version 1 file this what i get:

    52 c1 ad 0d 98 f4 2f 70-bc e9 d3 04 e5 68 92 98

    Windows Vista II.vmx121

    -how do i incorporate
    isolation.tools.guestInitiatedUpgrade.disable = “FALSE”
    into that.

  8. Hi Phil,

    I have a slightly different problem, I have installed VM Fusion 3 on my imac, upgraded to 4, Installed Windows 7 Pro. I am unable to connect to the Z: “Shared Folders \\vmware host” directory on the network. Says “Refers to a location that is unavailable” This prevents me from installing any other software on Windows. Re-installed from scratch again and same prob. I am using bridging. I have set shares on mac to all.
    Can you suggest a possible solution please.

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